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Online Content, Prostitution & Disclosure

The following piece from today’s San Francisco Chronicle,  (“Snowcial – social media’s peak networking“) touches on a potentially unsound and possibly illegal practice if done incorrectly:

“David Armano, managing director, Edelman Digital: ‘Journalists and newspapers are now doing paid content. The days are over for separation of church and state, editorial and advertising. The lines are getting crossed everywhere’.”

Crossing that line can also be a big step toward being a media prostitute.


Paid content inherently lacks credibility because “Pay for play” works for content just like it does for love and sex.

Just how much can you trust “I love you” from a blind date who later asks you for payment when the night is done?

And while up-front disclosure does nothing for the credibility of “I love you” from a gigolo, at least the fraud and deception issues vanish so that readers/viewers can decide in advance whether or not to to park their better judgment at the motel door.

Please click here to read the rest of this piece which I wrote for the Wine MBA class I teach at Sonoma State University